Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party

Last week we celebrated Chiquita's 11th birthday! I mentioned the other day that our schedule has been pretty full lately, but we still managed to squeeze in a fun day for the birthday girl! The girls watched Little House on the Prairie (our favorite Disney version) and played with paper dolls after finishing their schoolwork while I decorated the cake. They dressed up in their prairie dresses and bonnets and played outside. During the older kids' golf practice, we drove to town for her free birthday drink (a huge strawberry smoothie!) and to pick up pizza for dinner. She couldn't decide between a "Little House" or "Saint Kateri" themed birthday party this year, so we combined the two! Happy birthday, beautiful girl!  

.: Paper Dolls :. 

"Mary and Laura stayed close by the fire, sewing their nine-patch quilt blocks, or cutting paper dolls from scraps of wrapping paper, and hearing the wet sound of the rain."

Haha! I spy two teens making fun of the paper dolls, putting baby Carrie's head on Pa's body...

.: St. Kateri's Ice Cream Cone Teepees :. 

These were so easy to make using sugar cones, pretzel sticks, melted chocolate, sprinkles and green coconut for grass.  The kids had so much fun decorating the teepees. 

I still have some cookie dough in the fridge for St. Kateri's Indian Corn Cookies... 
We ran out of time to make them on her birthday. 

.: Animal Tracks :. 

"And over these tracks were tracks of rabbits and tracks of birds, and wolves' tracks. Pa read the tracks for Mary and Laura." 

I had so many games that I wanted to play (including kick the can and potato sack races!) but we ended up just having time for Animal Tracks Memory! I picked up Animal Tracks while we were in Yellowstone last summer and still had it tucked away in my closet. It was perfect for the "Little House on the Prairie" themed birthday!

Her older siblings turned on some fiddle tunes and set up the game in the shape of a little house!

"Outside, the night was large and full of stars. Pa sat for a long time in the doorway and played his fiddle and sang to Ma and Mary and Laura in the house and to the starry night outside."

.: Wagon Wheels :.

"When the sun rose, they were driving on across the prairie. There was no road now. Pet and Patty waded through the grasses, and the wagon left behind it only the tracks of it's wheels." 

In addition to her two favorite pizzas (Pepperoni/Olive and Hawaiian) I also picked up a "Cinnamon Wheel" from Papa Murphy's! Mmmmmmm... Smelled so good!

.: Birthday Gifts :. 

Reading the birthday card from her Grandpa and Grandma/Godparents... Miss them already

Sean and I were both surprised at just how excited she was when she opened her first gift from us, Little House in Brookfield (The Caroline Years, Book 1).  She has been wanting the rest of the Caroline, Charlotte, and Martha books for awhile now. I need to keep searching for the rest.

My parents gave her a fun Four Seasons Coloring Book

When asked before her birthday, the only gift she requested was "a new paint by number!" I ended up choosing this Goldfinches kit for her to paint. It will look lovely in her bedroom with the Chickadees and Lilacs Painting her uncle gave her to paint

The Puffin in Bloom Collection will be a great addition to her bookshelf, if we can make some room

She also received a beautiful hand-painted Saint Kateri for her bedroom wall from Audrey Eclectic!

I loved her big eyes and grin after peeking inside the wrapping paper as she started to open the last gift. She is pretty excited about her new Bow & Arrow, even though she can only use it with her Dad's supervision and help. The rest of the time it will be safely stored in it's case.   

.: Little House Birthday Cake :. 

"There was no door and there were no windows. There was no floor except the ground and no roof except the canvas. But that house had good stout walls, and it would stay where it was. It was not like the wagon, that every morning went on to some other place." 

I didn't have very much time to spend on the cake this year (inspired by this cake) and it didn't turn out exactly as I pictured, but it was covered with the birthday girl's favorite cookies and rock candy.  

She LOVED her cake! 

I served the cake with Rocky Road Ice Cream, recalling the rocky roads and trails traveled by the pioneers in their covered wagons.

"The whole top of the chimney was on fire. The sticks that made it were burning up. The fire was roaring in the wind and licking towards the helpless roof." Little House on the Prairie

Happy 11th Birthday! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Instagram Recap

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life with Like Mother, Like Daughter. ~

Between catching up from our road trip at home and at work (juggling working outside the home, even just part-time, and homeschooling is tough!), three birthday parties, the end of hockey season, high school and middle school golf for our three oldest, Catholic Digest deadlines for June/July/August and September, meeting with a new doctor to try and figure out some continuing health issues, dealing with Tax Fraud (whah!), and meeting with some other moms to discuss co-op options for our high schoolers next year, the last couple weeks flew by and I just haven't had the time or energy to post anything here on the blog... Even though I missed the deadline for last week's link-up, here is a {pretty, happy, funny, real} Instagram Recap of some of what we've been up to the past couple weeks.  I'll try my best to find some extra time soon to share pictures from Chiquita's 11th birthday!


April 10th: My brother's backyard is pretty incredible, especially this time of year! 

April 7th: It was such a beautiful day today... Instead of driving back home, after dropping off the boys for their high-school science lab, we drove out to visit my parents, enjoy the sunshine, and hit a few golf balls in their backyard! {Their yard has sure come a long way from the original 10-acres they purchased 25+ years ago covered with trees, poison oak, and buckbrush!}

April 22nd {posted by Captain}:  #NPLTD
We were able to get four hours of range practice at our grandparents house today!!!


April 18th: They all finished their schoolwork early today so we could come watch the older boys' high school golf tournament this afternoon... I'm always up for a challenge, but we'll see if I can keep the little ones quiet for at least nine holes! {Can you tell that the six year old doesn't care much for golf? At least not yet... Maybe she will after her first golf camp this summer!}

After I snapped a picture of the kids, one of the other high school coaches told me to squeeze onto the bench too and he'd take one of all of us...

We bounced back and forth between holes so we could watch both of the boys compete! 


April 13th: This afternoon at practice the boys' golf coach handed me this week's and last week's newspapers, saying I'd probably want to check out the sports section. Indeed! In fact, I think it might be time to get a subscription! Last week there were two different articles, one featuring my youngest brother (who is a junior in college) and the other featuring our oldest son (high school freshman). This week our second son (who skipped 8th grade and is also a freshman this year - Coach said he let the paper know that they are not twins!) was featured as "Athlete of the Week" for our local public high school where they golf! The boys have been working so hard this year. In addition to playing on the varsity team for golf, last week they both received the Varsity Award at their end-of-season party for hockey, from a different high school, since our local high school doesn't have a team. They were also both awarded the Kiwanis "Student of the Month" (our oldest last month and our second this month) from the home-based public charter school where they are currently enrolled. I'm so proud of them and all their hard work! 

All the sports excitement (and newspaper articles) has continued this week as well!  My brother Kevin just finished second at the El Macero Classic and is heading to the Pac-12 Championships in Salt Lake City this weekend, and my youngest brother David's golf team just won the CCC title and are headed to the NAIA National Tournament next month! I'm hoping they will have a little extra time this summer to coach their nephews! ;)

Here are three more photos that my oldest daughter shared on her (very small/private) Instagram:

April 18th: "It was so much fun watching our uncle compete in the CCC Men's Golf Championship today! Go Owls! "

"Watching my older brothers play golf at their high school tournament earlier today!"


April 20th: Yesterday one of my cakes was posted over at Cake Wrecks ... At least it wasn't one of the wrecks, but I might actually have one for them today! Hopefully it will come together after some time in the freezer and another coat of frosting. We have a birthday to celebrate! #notaprofessionalbaker #ihatefrostingcakes ;) 


"One, two, fwee, four, five... The mom rabbit and dad rabbit have FIVE baby bunnies!" 
{He loves to flip through his new book counting the five "rabbit children" on each page.}